Well, there hasn’t been much reading going on in these parts this last week. The last book I finished was Page by Paige, a graphic novel by Laura Lee Gulledge. It was cute, but nothing to rave about. I’ve been listening to Chuck Palahniuck’s Damned on my commute. Not super impressed so far, and there was a sexual assault scene towards the beginning played for laughs that I really didn’t appreciate.
This morning I managed to catch the last twenty minutes of Melissa Harris-Perry. She was talking about the renaissance in black film making (covered in the NY Times here). One of her guests was film director Ava DuVernay, the first black woman to win the Best Director award at Sundance. A trailer for her film, Middle of Nowhere, is here. I’m hoping that it will be showing near me. My closest theaters don’t always branch out beyond the expected hits. According to the show, women make up 5% of all US film directors, so I was gratified to see that DuVernay did not shy away from her identity as a black woman filmmaker.
Tananarive Due, a novelist and filmmaker, spoke about an Octavia Butler celebration at Spelman College which inspired her to work on a short horror film, Danger Word. I can see how Octavia Butler could inspire horror as the two books I’ve read by her were *creepy.* The first one I read was Kindred. The opening scene had a woman’s arm being torn off as it somehow was eaten by her wall. The flashbacks explain how we end up there through time travel, slavery, and family ties. The second one, Wild Seed, was equally terrifying, although in a different way. It was not based as firmly in reality as Kindred was (aside from the time travel, of course!).
Fantasy/sci-fi is not really my favorite reading genre, but I keep trying it. I am a big Tamora Pierce fan. She’s great when it comes to gender issues in her books, a little less successful when it some to race. I’ve had N.K. Jemisin on my radar for awhile, and am hoping to get to her novel The Killing Moon soon. Has anyone read any of her books?
As the Times article demonstrates, many movies are based on books, whether it be novels or memoirs or what have you. With that in mind, what book by a woman author or a black author (or both!) would you like to see on the big screen?
The first one that I can think of is Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones. It wasn’t my favorite book ever, but I think the intense imagary would translate really well to film.